I am near the end of a great book. A book where I know the ending. Far from ruining the story, knowing that our heroes win in the end allows me to focus on the amazing true story that lead to their victory.
The book is titled, “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics”. The true story of young American men from the University of Washington living through the challenges of the Great Depression to discover the sport of rowing and how rowing together changed their lives.
I hesitate to say I am a former rower. Even though I have not rowing on the water in many years, rowing stays with you. I raced in crew shells throughout high school and college. Rowing is part of my definition. My days in the boat with my teammates influence me to the day.
This book is wonderfully written as you get to know these young men and the America they inhabited. All this is set to the terrible backdrop of Nazi Germany just a few years from the start of World War II. This was a time in America where the top collegiate rowing races were national news and broadcast on radio across America.
Along with the rowers, we get to know the coaches and most interesting, George Pocock. Mr. Pocock was a master boat builder, philosopher and even poet. He built his boats above the Washington boathouse and found a way to inspire the boys with his observations and wise words.
I highly recommend this book to all; no rowing experience needed. The history, the individual stories, the focus to achieve and the realization that the success of your teammate is more important than your own, leads to a great book. These are the men of the so-called, “Greatest Generation” and they prove it.
Here is a short promo video for the book. I invite you to watch it. I am sure to write more about this book, especially the wise words of George Pocock who found the words to describe the spirit of WeMoveTogether.